The New Knew
The New Knew
Olatunde Osinaike’s The New Knew, is a chapbook that defies order and style. Alluding to themes such as priveledge and racial identity, to an erasure of the Declaration of Independence, Osinaike’s wit and mastery of metaphor doesn’t let you down easy.
Limited edition (25 copies): Ruination with 100% hemp cord saddle-stitching (results will vary)
Package: Limited edition copy plus a previous Thirty West title and (2) broadsides.
In The New Knew, Olatunde Osinaike combines a razor-sharp wit, tenderness, and a musical ear to create a work that interrogates the way America views the black body, as well as the way America defines itself. His poems are restless, searching for truth, joy, and love in a world that is more than often lacking in it. Osinaike’s poems deftly highlight the fragility of black existence in the wake of this country’s long racist tradition, but what makes these poems special is the way they work toward defining blackness on its own terms. They sing toward the light, even with darkness all around them. When Osinaike writes, “Siren says / fix your mouth / into a hollow hallelujah, / crescendo your prayer / and hope they reach / your dreams fast enough,” it is both a warning and an instruction manual from the ancestors on how get through it all. A work of the body that speaks to the soul.
—Kwame Opoku-Duku, Author of The Unbnd Verses
In The New Knew, Osinaike reminds us that we are the prayers we are searching for. Meditating on what it is like to live while also looking for relief in this world of interrupted safety, he questions the state of this American being: How to make your body a sacred home after facing injustice? How are we divine? How does one firmly keep hold of joy when opposing forces are biting your hand? Osinaike highlights the concerns of being black in America, the notions of freedom, and the threat of death that haunts our everyday life. He writes, “i want to show you how easy it is to return to this / heaven so let’s leave this right here & we / can start somewhere else.” While trying to make sense of injustice, there is an aching for love, an aching for soft warmth.
—Karisma Price, Poet
About the author
Olatunde Osinaike is a Nigerian-American poet from the West Side of Chicago. A Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net and Bettering American Poetry nominee, his most recent work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in Best New Poets 2018, Kweli, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Cosmonauts Avenue, Lunch Ticket, Palette Poetry, Puerto del Sol, and Columbia Poetry Review, among other publications. He is currently on poetry staff at The Adroit Journal and you can find him at www.olatundeosinaike.com.